1 Samuel 1:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 1:18, NIV: She said, 'May your servant find favor in your eyes.' Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

1 Samuel 1:18, ESV: And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

1 Samuel 1:18, KJV: And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

1 Samuel 1:18, NASB: She said, 'Let your bond-servant find favor in your sight.' So the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

1 Samuel 1:18, NLT: 'Oh, thank you, sir!' she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

1 Samuel 1:18, CSB: "May your servant find favor with you," she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.

What does 1 Samuel 1:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Hannah was a changed woman. Before she went into the temple, she had been unwilling to eat, weeping bitterly, and deeply distressed (1 Samuel 1:7–10). She was childless and her husband's second wife, who did have children, intentionally provoked her (1 Samuel 1:6). Hannah bared her soul before the Lord. She also vowed to God that if He gave her a son, she would return that son to His service for his life. While she was praying, the temple priest accused Hannah of being drunk. She explained that she was deeply troubled and had been pouring her heart out to the Lord. Eli, the temple priest, believed her and blessed her. Now, leaving the temple, Hannah is no longer sad and she is ready to enjoy a meal. What changed?

Two things happened. First, the priest of the temple expressed his desire that God would grant her request. Some see it as Eli telling Hannah that God would, indeed, grant her request. That was the best news she could have hoped for. Hannah had previously asked Eli not to view her as "a worthless woman;" here she asks that Eli find favor in her, using the cultural expression "your servant." Whether Eli simply joined in Hannah's petition or prophesied its fruition, Hannah had reason to hope. She had been seen and heard, and her heart's desire had been affirmed.

Something else happened, though. Even without Eli's blessing, Hannah had poured out her soul to the Lord, expressing all her vexation and anxiety to Him. She trusted Him with her request (1 Samuel 1:10–16). Even without receiving an immediate positive answer, the choice to express our feelings and give our requests to the Lord can bring peace (Philippians 4:4–8). Paul exhorted the Philippian believers, "The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:5–7). When we entrust ourselves to God, we can experience His peace (1 Peter 5:7).